It’s amazing to me how the truth of the Scriptures continually ‘open’ with each passing year of one’s pilgrimage in this life. Once again today, I ‘heard’ a new ‘reality’ of God’s Kingdom while reading the Gospel. Jesus shares another parable of the Kingdom of heaven with us: “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.”
A key element of the Kingdom involves invitation. God continually invites us into a loving relationship, a life-giving union with himself. This is another way of saying that God desires this union with every human person. I also like the element of the ‘wedding feast’ in today’s Kingdom parable. Indeed, our union with God draws us into the banquet of life – a banquet that alone suffices to truly fulfill the deepest longings of the human person – a banquet that satisfies like no other worldly pursuit.
The new insight gained with today’s Kingdom parable has to do with the reality of ‘resistance’ that is a part of embracing and expanding God’s Kingdom. Notice how those invited to the ‘banquet’ refuse the invitation. Some ignored the invitation while others even use violence against the ‘messengers’ to the point of killing some of them.
How often do we allow ourselves to think: “It should not be so difficult to lead a holy life. Why is it so hard for me to be faithful to God? to love God?” Today’s parable of the Kingdom indicates that resistance is something inherent in both the individual person’s efforts to respond to God’s invitation to a communion of love and in the world’s openness to the advance of God’s Kingdom.
This inherent ‘resistance’ is simply our participation in the ‘fallen nature’ of our human condition. We want to think that ‘love should be easy,’ when in reality, it requires regular perseverance, personal sacrifice, fierce fidelity. Jesus Christ is the model of such love and fidelity, and his love reveals also the painful reality of the struggle true love entails.
So, let us be renewed this day by God’s Word and the Banquet of the Eucharist. Let our own discipleship be ‘braced’ with the reality of resistance, and forged with the greater reality of love.
For God has sprinkled us with clean water, cleansed us of our impurities; He has given us a new heart and a new spirit, that we may live by his statutes. He has claimed us as His children, that He may be our God. (Ezekiel 36:23-28)
In other words, God gives us all we need to overcome our resistance to His love. He has given us His Son and the fullness of His Spirit.